Networking Skills For Introverts
The career world can sometimes feel tough for an introvert. Our society flocks toward the extroverted personality and most of the career advice you will hear will tell you to work toward being that personality. The truth is, though, there is much to be said for the introverted personality, and there is no reason why an introvert can't be just as successful as an extrovert.
One of the hardest career skills to nail down for an introvert is networking. Keep reading to learn a few tips on how introverts can win at networking.
If you are planning on attending a networking event, prepare ahead of time. If possible get an idea of who will be attending. Make a plan as to who you want to connect with most. This will help you to use your energy wisely. Social situations can sometimes be very draining for introverts. Use your most fresh energy to connect with the most important people on your list first. This way you will know you are bringing your best, brightest personality before the people who need to see it most.
Imagine that everyone else at the event is just as scared as you are. Make it your job to put them at ease rather than waiting around for someone else to make you feel more comfortable. After a few minutes, you will naturally start to feel more confident. Our brains react strongly to our behaviors. If you behave with confidence your brain will start to actually feel more confident. Some refer to this as "fake it till you make it." For short term challenges, like a networking event, this can be a great tactic for introverts to use.
It can also sometimes help to imagine the most confident person you know. Take some time before the event to really focus on what that person is like. How do they speak? What is their body language like? If you can, channel some of that energy for your networking event. Just pretend you are an actor playing a part for a little while. It may feel strange at first, but if it helps you get through the event and accomplish your goal, you've succeeded.
If you really don't think you can get through the networking event on your own, why not buddy up with someone? Just like having a wingman at the bar, it never hurts to have a networking buddy to tag along with. Discuss beforehand what your objectives are and how you expect your buddy to help out.
Networking can feel hugely stressful to an introvert. Try using these tips to help get you through your next big networking event.